Venom symbiote is initially projected as a scary concept. However, the creators of the character have never been sure if they want to embrace that aspect, or if they want Venom around as a gritty anti-hero with a dark past.
The problem with Rueben Fleischer’s Venom is that it seems to be a genuinely scary film and there are a few sequences that do frighten but then, it just pulls back from that tone. Venom actually had a go at being a genuinely scary film and I feel that it should have gone that way.
Now, there are moments where the creators did not want Venom to be a scary film which makes perfect sense if you bring the comics into consideration. When Eddie gets possessed by the Venom, he unwittingly starts breaking bones. He tries apologising but his body moves and hits hard to the targets. These grisly scenes occur throughout the film, with symbiotes either healing from them or causing them.
There’s some sort of savagery to the violence in the film, which does make fans lose their shit. But Venom still can’t decide what kind of movie it actually wants to be. For instance, a scene where a police officer almost had his head bitten is followed by a scene which shows Eddie explaining the symbiote to Annie in a hilarious way. This kills the vibe and undercuts the impact of the scene.
However, there is one scene that exemplifies the whole issue. The scene where a SWAT team appears to contain Eddie, he transforms into Venom and wreaks havoc on the cops. The cops panic and end up firing a smoke grenade to confuse Venom but to no effect.
The scene is dim and sees a glimpse of something dark moving through the smoke. This scene speaks to what makes Venom scary. He’s like a nightmare, unstoppable for the cops. That’s a good horror scene! It just plays with the light to surprise the audience and constructs it pretty well into a terrifying scene.
The only problem with Venom is that the film doesn’t know what exactly it wants to be. While Hardy brings a great energy to the film, the script seemed to hold the characters down on occasions. We hope that its sequel if it ever comes, rectifies this mistake made by Venom.